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Monday, June 18, 2018

Megan Lochte reportedly apologizes for racist video, says it was a skit

Ryan Lochte has received plenty of notoriety since returning to America from the London Olympics, but it’s his sister, Megan, who is receiving the attention this week.

Megan Lochte came under fire on Friday when a 2008 video featuring her making several racist remarks went viral. The video, which was first posted by Jezebel (warning: video contains explicit language), is from Lochte’s 2008 appearance on a Maryland late-night comedy talk show called “Closing Time,” hosted by Baltimore-based comedian Mickey Cucchiella. The show took place shortly after Lochte returned from watching her brother compete at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing.

“Let’s talk about China. How long were you there?” the host asks “field correspondent” Lochte.

“We were there for a little bit over a week. China was ch—ed out,” she says to much laughter. “Like, it was totally Chinese. Everything.”

“The nerve of those people to be …” Cucchiella began, before being interrupted by Lochte.

“Ch—s everywhere,” Lochte continued.

By that point, Lochte had used the racial slur three times, and Cucchiella was looking uncomfortable.

“Let’s say ‘Chinese’ (to describe them), Megan,” he said. “Let’s not say that word.”

“Ch—?” she asked. “But, like, it fits them, because they’re like ch—s,” she said, adding a high-pitched emphasis on the slur. “And you know how they stereotypically want to take pictures? They take pictures of everything. Like I would be jumping up and down, and they would be like ‘Oh my god, American jumping up and down!'”

“Really? So they’re a little snap-happy?” Cucchiella asks.

“Ch— ch—” Lochte said, mimicking the sound a camera would make taking a picture. “That’s where it comes from, I think. Right? Is that where it comes from?”

“I don’t know where it comes from,” Chucchiella responds.

The conversation turns into one about the driving ability of the Chinese. Lochte says the Chinese drive like ninjas, but the host corrects her and reminds her that ninjas are part of the Japanese culture.

“They’re whatever we want — they’re Asian,” she says.

The skit doesn’t end until Lochte gets in a blast on the Great Wall of China.

“The Great Wall is misnamed. [It should be called] like, f***ing huge OCD fence,” she says.

Jezebel points out the irony that Megan’s Facebook page states that she “studied multicultural marketing at University of Maryland, Baltimore County.” You wouldn’t expect someone with that educational background to speak in such blatantly racist terms, but Lochte is defending herself against the mounting criticism.

Lochte released a statement on Saturday in response to the video and racist accusations. She stressed that the video has been taken out of context.

“This was not a real interview, and it in no way reflects my true feelings or persona whatsoever,” Lochte told Us Weekly in a statement. “The intent was to make fun of the ignorance of people who actually do not have an understanding of other cultures and speak in racist ways.

“The skit and my character were supposed to be making fun of ignorance,” she says.

“I do see how it was highly offensive to the viewer, but as seen by today’s widespread outrage, it clearly did increase awareness of the ignorance of those who are racist.

“While the intent of the script was to shed light on cultural ignorance,” Lochte says, “I realize that in application it did offend people, and for that I apologize.”

I’m guessing most people see the video as offensive rather than a comedic attempt to raise “awareness” about cultural ignorance. While racial stereotypes are considered a genre of comedy and is generally excused in some settings, using frequent slurs — regardless of setting — is not advised.

It’s somewhat unfair that Ryan is associated with this even though he had nothing to do with the video. Megan should have realized after Beijing that her brother was famous and that anything she did could be scrutinized on a mass level.

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